I’ve written before about my relationship with running, a relationship that defined my lifestyle and diet. MyFitnessPal might as well have been called MyBestFriend. I inputted every single bite of food that I consumed, monitoring every gram of every nutrient. I was never more prideful than when the protein/carb/fat ratio was a perfect 40/40/20.
I had a minor breakdown when I got to Europe and realized that I would have a hard time balancing my meals no matter how many Quest Bars or Justin’s almond butter packets I brought. I knew that running would always be there, but I really wanted to make the most of my time in Europe. It wasn’t just about enjoying patatas bravas, it was about enjoying the experience and simply not spending every moment paranoid about doubling in size.
I channeled Elizabeth Gilbert and let myself indulge. I ate pan con tomate, croquetas and patatas bravas in Spain. I ate crepes and copious amounts of cheese in Paris. I ate chocolate, waffles, Nutella and Cheetos in Amsterdam. I literally ate McDonald’s in Copenhagen.
I got home and was excited to eat giant salads, something I hadn’t really encountered abroad. I was legitimately shocked that I could fit in my clothes even after the dietary decisions I had made abroad. Coworkers even told me how skinny I looked. Um, what? Apparently sleeping 12 hours in a week and eating $27 dollar airport sandwiches after-hours do wonders for your figure! Who knew?!
Since the trip and my aforementioned break-up from running, I have continued to eat a more indulgent diet. I order what I want on the menu, not what I think I should want. Sometimes, I genuinely crave a turkey burger with no fries and a salad. Sometimes, I want a French toast with bacon and syrup and butter.
This week, due to this premature fall, I took on the dreaded task of trying on my jeans in hopes I had something I could manage to get all the way on and wear to work, a task that in years passed has been emotionally troubling. I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes and wished that when I put on the first pair I would at least be able to get them over the booty. I grabbed the pair I was most confident would fit. They went on so easily that I had to take them off and put them on again to believe it. I moved on to the more challenging pairs, the pairs that really didn’t fit when I bought them. The ones that I bought and said, If I keep running though, I’m sure they’ll fit by November. Nope! Apparently you have to give up all healthy habits and accept the goodness of pizza and French fries in order to fit into your skinny jeans! Honestly, I was a little pissed.
As annoyed as I was about this, I was equally confused. I haven’t run more than 3 miles in over a year and can’t even run one as fast as I could then. Scientists say Miranda Kerr’s statement about a healthy sex-life contributing to a rockin’ bod are untrue. My favorite thing to do after a long day at work is to take an Uber to the pizza place and face some couch time. I have a theory though; I’m on what I’ve come to call the “eat pizza and enjoy your life” diet.
Some people really do have their healthiest and happiest shape when they’re keeping track of every little detail. Some people have the fastest metabolisms known to mankind. I think I just needed to learn about balance. I eat with conscience, not with rules.